This summer, a gas station down the street is giving away free tickets to Mt. Olympus water park at Wisconsin Dells with every 10-gallon purchase of gas. I’m a part-time teacher/freelance writer, so of course I’m always broke. Deals like these are usually the only way I can take my kids on such extravagant outings, so of course I bit the hook on this one. Approximately 3 weeks and 40 gallons of gas after finding out about this special, I was ready to take my kids to Wisconsin Dells! (more…)
This afternoon, I took my kids to see Oliver! at the Schauer Arts and Activities Center in Hartford, Wisconsin. We’ve been to a number of plays in Milwaukee, but I thought it would be a great experience to visit a new theater. Plus, the Schauer Center has a reputation for offering city-quality shows without the hassle of big city parking.
Located in downtown Hartford, the Schauer Center is attached to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in a rustic building that reeks of “Up North” ambience. The theater is just as nice as, if not nicer than, some of the venues I had previously attended in Milwaukee.
Side note: speaking of Milwaukee theaters, I would advise that you avoid The Milwaukee Theater unless you can afford front row seats. (Unless, of course, you enjoy watching plays on a stage that appears, from the nosebleed section, to be the size of a postage stamp.) (more…)
Last weekend, my parents were in town for a quick visit, and we decided to take them on a scenic day trip around the Milwaukee area. We started off at The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill, which is located just a few miles north of Milwaukee. I lived in Milwaukee for six years, but it wasn’t until moving out of the city that I discovered this gem. This was the first chance I’d ever had to take my parents to see it.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about being challenged to climb an endless supply of rickety stairs to breathtaking heights,) the scenic tower was closed for our visit. But, the view from the balcony in front of the main chapel is still amazing, even if you don’t make it up to the top of tower. (more…)
I’ve been working on this week’s homework for two straight days, and I just can’t seem to get it done. I think it’s a combination of the subject matter (Narratology) and the weather. I’m not knocking Narratology, but this may very well be the most painful English course I have ever taken. We are studying Seymour Chatman‘s Story and Discourse, and I swear I have to read each sentence at least 3 times to make any sense of it.
This week, I have to take one of the theories of character Chatman discusses in Story and Discourse and summarize it in layman’s terms. I spent at least 4 hours on this yesterday and so far have only written 4 paragraphs of gibberish that I am quite certain don’t make a bit of sense. (more…)
Last night began the Fall 2011 Writers Series sponsored by the English department at Mount Mary College. I had the pleasure of joining many of my classmates for this event in Mount Mary’s beautiful Stiemke Hall. Milwaukee Magazine editor, Bruce Murphy, spoke at length about his own freelancing experiences in the Milwaukee area. Murphy, who was instrumental in breaking the Milwaukee County pension scandal a few years ago, shared some interesting insider stories, along with tips for working as a freelance writer in the area.
In his discussion (and in his online bio,) Murphy refers to himself as a “fiscally conservative liberal contrarian.” I took this to mean that he likes to play the devil’s advocate, a favorite role of my own, so I enjoyed the talk. And, who can complain about the free food (more…)
I’d never even heard of Sweetest Day before I moved to Wisconsin. So for years, I’ve largely ignored it. It’s always seemed to me like just another fake holiday developed by the jewelry and flower industries to generate revenue right before the big holiday push. This year, I am observing the day with my sweetest. However, likely without jewelry or flowers. And with that, here’s a little poem I hope will make you think twice before blowing your hard-earned cash on roses this year.
Bring Me Weeds
If you’re going
to bring me flowers,
bring me weeds. (more…)
First off, the Grand Canyon trip I was planning via Amtrak is a scratch. I’ve got a new plan in place now, but I’ll get to that in a future post. At this point, I feel the need to put some info out there to help out future vacay planners. So, here are a few things I’ve learned about planning a trip to the Grand Canyon via Amtrak. (more…)
Saturday morning, I took my son out to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum in Hartford, WI. This Wisconsin Automotive Museum is home to one of the largest collections of one of the only “true classic” cars made in the United States: The Kissel Kar.
Upon entering the museum, you’re immediately met by the sound of train whistles, as model trains zip by on one of the largest model train displays I have ever seen. The museum also boasts a 1913 locomotive. (more…)
Just got home from a weekend in Southern Illinois, where it stormed and rained all weekend. An F3 tornado hit the St. Louis airport, which is just an hour East of my family (I was visiting for Easter.) Anyway, I got some really pretty pictures I want to share with you. It wasn’t exactly a huge vacation, but it was travel all the same!
So, I pulled off I-57 at the Watson/Mason exit Thursday and was greeted by a long line of stopped cars waiting for a road crew to let traffic pass. They were resurfacing the road in between storms. Anyway, I snapped a few pictures of the overflowing Little Wabash River while we were stopped. It’s funny how the river ebbs and flows… one day, it’s flooded, the next day you can see the fields again… and still one day later, it’s flooded once more.
There was still snow on the ground when I left my home in Wisconsin Thursday, so I couldn’t believe just how green everything was once I got down south. I’m back home today, and we still don’t have any green trees here yet!